BEVERLY HILLS— The Beverly Hills City Council approved an ordinance that updates permit requirements for public assemblies and parades that will go into effect starting Wednesday, November 4. In order to better accommodate various public demonstrations, the city had recently refrained from issuing permits for public assemblies and parades. Due to recent events that needed significant police presence and city resources, the city council voted to enforce its permit mandate.
Public assemblies and parades of 500 people or less will be exempt from the ordinance if they take place at La Cienega Park, the west side of City Hall adjacent to Crescent Dr. or Beverly Gardens Park between Rodeo Dr. and Crescent Dr. The ordinance also prohibits assemblies and parades in residential neighborhoods from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. unless the gathering does not create significant noise that is is distinctly audible from inside the nearest dwelling or residence.
Since May 30 the city has hosted numerous protests, including one organized by Freedom Rallies, “Mr. Checkpoint,” and protest in regards to the Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict. During three different events throughout the month of June a group called “OCCUPY” held large protests at night in residential areas from 10 p.m. to approximately 1 a.m. Items such as fireworks, music, and bullhorns were used to disrupt the neighborhood.
Mayor Lester Friedman said in a statement that, “While we recognize the importance of public gatherings that allow the community to peacefully exercise their freedom of speech and right to assemble, it’s imperative that we provide a safe and healthy environment in which they can do so by creating these guidelines.”